Proudly created with Wix.com

The Engagement Plan

The "Engagement" entails all the steps necessary in order to create, launch, and propigate an Urban Farming Business. Any potential partner will be expected to perform according to the Expecations and Objectives set forth in the Engagement Plan (and more concretely defined  in the Action Plan).

If sucessfully executed, the partner will recieve the following Benefits during the term of the Engagement (expected to last 3-4 years) as well as partial ownership rights upon completion (click Here for further definition of the expected Roles and Responsibilities).

Engagement Overview

 

Engagement Overview

KEY EXPECTATIONS

  

 1. Have a voracious desire for knowledge acquisition and to be a recognized expert in the Urban Farming field.

 2. Have the will and the drive to start a business and make it successful.

 3. Grow your success by teaching others your knowledge and replicating other urban farming ventures.

PHASES & OBJECTIVES

Knowledge & Learning (6 - 12 Months)

Spend at least 20 hours per week  absorbing  all required/available media (books, videos, articles, etc.), seeking out experts, and engaging in opportunities in order to acquire the knowledge to quickly and sustainably grow all possible vegetables and herbs (on any scale) in Western Pennsylvania and have the capability to answer most questions regarding garden planning, soil fertility, organic garden methodology, plant growing specifics, composting, permaculture, etc.

Business Launch & Success

Deliver a successful urban farming business that grosses $30,000 in sales year one, $60,000 in both years two and three, and $75,000 in year four, which is based on a flexible gardening model that is designed to be replicable, focused on annuals, operatable on 6,000 to 10,000 square feet, serves a market with high expansion potential, is fairly simple, information based, and delivers high yields relative to inputs (to the greatest extent possible).

Training & Mentoring

Train and mentor at least three additional urban farmers such that they are able to each establish successful businesses, starting with one trainee year two, and two trainee’s years three and four.

Please reload

Tentative Action Plan

 

The Action Plan is a working outline of all the tasks thought necessary to help launch and develop the Urban Farming business. This plan is tentative and will evolve over time.

Phase 1 - Knowledge & Learning

Phase 1 - Knowledge & Learning

Weekly Update Meetings:

Weekly meeting to discuss progress on acquiring necessary knowledge and have open discussions.

Read the Following Books:

  • The Urban Farmer, Stone

  • Back to Basics

  • How to Grow More Vegetables, Jeavons

  • The Market Gardener, Fortier

  • The Resilient Gardener, Deppe

  • The Lean farm, Hartman

  • The Winter Harvest Handbook, Coleman

  • Four Season Harvest, Coleman

  • Perennial Vegetables

  • Teaming with Microbes, Lowenfels

  • Weedless Gardening, Reich

  • Sustainable Market Farming, Dawling

  • The Resilient Farm and Homestead, Falk

  • The Permaculture City, Hemenway

  • Mini Farming, Markham

  • Let it Rot, Campbell

  • You Can Farm, Joel Salitan

  • The Sustainable Vegetable Gardener, Jeavons

  • Introduction to Permaculture, Mollison

  • Microgreen Garden, Braunstein

  • Year Round Indoor Salad Gardening, Burke

Complete a Permaculture Design Course

 

Complete a Curtis Stone Course

Absorb Information from Relevant Podcasts or YouTube Videos:

  • The Survival Podcast

  • Permaculture Voices

Phase 2 - Business Launch & Sucess

Weekly Update Meetings:

Regular meetings to discuss progress in the business and review performance.

Comprehensive Business Plan (Startup Only):

  • Competitive Advantage & Value Proposition.

  • Lines of Business (Products) & Rationale

  • Tentative Garden Schedule, Forecasted Yields per Square Foot, by Species, and Time of Year

  • Target Market Analysis & Projected Revenues

  • Itemized Capital Need & Rationale

  • Consolidated Financials (Sales, expenses, net profit

Final Gardening Plan & Budget (Annual):

Every February, submit a garden plan (outlining types of crops to be grown, timing, property utilization, soil amendments by area, etc.) as well as an annual budget (detailing monthly forecasts of all expenses for the business as well as projected revenues by sales channel, and estimated net profits).

 

Detailed Records Log (on-going):

Tracking and having large amounts of data regarding operations will ensure the success of the farming business and help focus resources on the most productive tasks and products.

 

Therefore, it is expected that meticulous records be kept on all operational items. Records should include but are not limited to:

  • Crops grown per every square foot, timing, and yield.

  • Soil amendments, weeding, bed preparation, and tracking any other type of intervention in the gardening process that can impact quality and yields.

  • Use of hoop houses and other season extenders.

  • Documenting harvests per square foot, sales channel, and the sales price per UOM (e.g. oz, lbs, etc.).

  • Track water consumption by day (and by bed if possible and reasonable).

  • Detailed tracking of all non-capital expenses and other inputs including labor, packaging materials, water, etc

  • Track any external labor use by function.

  • Document daily time expenditures on the garden (i.e.: weeding, tilling, etc.) as well as time expended on harvesting and processing.

  • Document any other useful metric.

Garden Plan Execution, Procudct Processing & Delivery, Sales (on-Going):

Essentially all the major operational functions needed to make an Urban Farming Business Successful:

  • Executing according to the Gardening Plan in order to maximize production and revenue.

  • Drumming up business and finding channels to sell your product, whether that be sales calls to restaurants, farmer markets, etc.

  • Picking, processing, and packaging product in order to get to market.

Phase 3 - Training & Mentoring

Weekly Update Meetings:

Weekly meeting with trainee’s to discuss progress on acquiring necessary knowledge and have open discussions as well as answering questions.

On-the-Job Training:

Partner will make every effort to allow a trainee(s) to work as much time on the farm as they desire (but with a minimum training time TBD) and will take time to thoughtfully explain farming methodology and rationale. Partner will also expose the trainee to all other elements of the business including administrative, processing, sales calls, etc.

Likewise, Partner will vest trainee(s) with the responsibility for managing at designated space for one growing period allowing the trainee to manage the product on this plot from planning to customer.

Continued Mentorship:

As trainee starts their own business, Partner will make themselves available (to the greatest extent possible) to answer questions and offer guidance.

 

Engagement Benefits

Retained Profits:

The aim of this engagement is to allow the Partner to retain for themselves as much profit as necessary by utilizing the following schedule:

Year 1: Consort will retain 100% of net profits.

 

Year 2: Consort will pay the benefactor the greater of:  10% of net profits (paid on a monthly basis) or $6,500 (by the last day of the calendar year). In addition, the Consort will provide the benefactor one basket a week of requested fresh produce during the growing season.

 

Year 3-4: Consort will pay the benefactor the greater of:  10% of net profits (paid on a monthly basis) or $9,500 (by the last day of each calendar year). In addition, the Consort will provide the benefactor one basket a week of requested fresh produce during the growing season.

Training:

All necessary training will be paid for during the Engagement.

Land & Housing:

Partner will be provided Land on which to start an Urban Farming business as well as Housing during the term of the Engagement.

Roles & Responsibilities

 

Partner:

Partner is responsible for performing to all expectations outlined in the engagement agreement and will, upon the formation of the Urban Farming business legal entity, function like the chief executive officer empowered with the authority to take all reasonable and necessary action to ensure the successful formation, operation, and replication of an urban farming business, unless otherwise guided by the benefactor as the oversite board.

 

Outside shelter and any income provided by the farming venture, the Consort is solely responsible for earning any supplemental income required for living necessities (including, but not limited to, groceries, water, sewage, utilities, automotive expenses, healthcare expenses, personal expenses, etc.).

Benefactor:

The benefactor has ultimate authority and oversite of all functions and actions for the engagement and will act as the Board of Directors for the urban farming venture.

 

In addition, the benefactor is expected to  provide the following  key items:

  • Funds for all training.

  • Urban Farming entity legal formation.

  • Capital required for start-up.

  • Housing for Consort during the engagement, the terms of which will be outlined in a signed lease agreement.

  • Property on which to establish the Urban Farm.

  • Any necessary consulting.